We made it! Rosemary Kaittany delivers a speech during celebrations of ATS at 20. Photo: Francis Muli

1998 marked the turning point for Ms Rosemary Kaittany. Rosemary, a former teacher who made her living inspiring young Kenyans to chase after their dreams and reach for the stars, took her own advice one day and left the world of education to pursue her life’s desire. The alluring world of tours and travel.

With the endless support of family and friends, a vision, a lot of hard work, determination and most of all God, ATS Travel was born. And like a young child, who shows incredible potential, Rosemary saw long before anyone else what ATS could become, if she tried a little harder, found the right people and never lost faith.

“I thank my husband who believed in me and my dream and supported me. Very few men would do that. I thank my children who walked with me throughout the journey. Very few children would accept to work for family business,” says Kaittany during celebration dinner in a Nairobi hotel for ATS at 20.

Since then, ATS Travel has grown from a little one roomed office to a globally recognized travel agency with a national footprint. Today, ATS has four branches across Kenya in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kitale and Eldoret.

The tremendous growth has not only been felt within the firm, but also outside. In 2008, ATS, was awarded by Kenya Airways as the fastest growing agency in the industry while KPMG and Business Daily recognized them as one of the Top 100 SME Companies and 2nd in the industry.

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In 2012, they moved up to be one of Kenya Airways top ten selling agents. Two years later, they were recognized by Kenya Airways as the top group selling agent. In 2016, UAE based airline Emirates awarded them for best performance.

Notwithstanding the awards, ATS in the past 20 years, has been able to gain over 200,000 hotel and accommodation partners, work with over 50 airline partners, complete close to 30,000 customer orders and employ almost 100 people.

However, the journey has not been without hurdles. “The unpredictability of the industry has been our main challenge. However, motivating our employees to strengthen their capabilities and to understand the industry has been our pillar for overcoming the hurdle,” says Kaittany.

Secret to success

“Often, I have been asked what is the reason behind my success, and my impromptu reply has been; my employees. I would say that a team can perform best only when it is united,” she adds.

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She also attributes her success to her clients who include government ministries, parastatals, corporations, corporate/private companies, NGOs, Learning Institutions, Insurances, Churches, Individuals and Hospitals.

Kaittany hopes to create a lasting brand not only across the African continent, but also across the world. Her dream is to see ATS become a leading world travel agency.

“The road ahead will be challenging, but with the support of my team we shall wade through the murky waters to become world leaders. I want to thank all our partners who have supported us as we look forward for greater partnerships,” she concludes

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